COWncil Roundup – February 24th, 2009

March 18, 2009

The COWncil had a lot on its agenda for this meeting, which ran nearly three hours. All the COWncil members were present except for COWncil member Boynton. You can check out the video on Mootube here. The first order of business was reappointment of ASRB members. Two members were reappointed and a third is to be interviewed later. You can read our article on the ASRB appointments here. Then the consent calendar was approved unanimously.

The COWncil also approved the first reading of an ordinance that will change the Woodside Municipal Code to extend strict 7A fire code revisions to all of Woodside (minus some of the draconian landscaping rules). We’ve written about it before (see here).

A report by the Open Space Committee, including its recommendations on Conservation Easements and their future administration was reviewed. The COWncil next MOOved on to a status report about the recruitment of citizens for the General Plan update (see here for a recent description of that process). Town staff reported on the number of applicants by COWncil district (you can see the map of our Town’s COWncil districts online here).

The final major piece of business was an authorization for the Town to formally agree to swap funds with Atherton under which Woodside would give up its claims to Federal economic stimulus funds to be exchanged on a one-for-one basis with Atherton general funds. This was done to alleviate concerns that smaller projects might be overlooked by the feds, as well as the fact that extensive paperwork is required (estimated to be at least $20,000 no matter how small the project is), and the funds can only be used on a specific project. The swap would allow Atherton to bid for a larger project and get more federal dollars, while Woodside would get the full value in swapped Atherton funds to do any road maintenance project without constraints. As you can imagine, Mayor Mason’s first question was, “Is this legal?” which brought laughter from the COWncil and staff. After being assured that it was, the COWncil voted unanimously to approve a letter of intent to engage in the money swap. This seems like the creative thinking that we want to encourage in this COWmunity.

The COWncil quickly approved Jennifer Gonzalez to the Bicycle Committee, on the condition that her husband, Richard Gonzalez, resigns from the Committee. He currently sits on the Bicycle Committee but has expressed his willingness to resign in order for Jennifer to join. The Town has a policy of trying to limit family members from serving on the same Committees. Richard Gonzalez will be approached for further work on other Committees. The Conservation and Environmental Health, Livestock and Animal Control, Public Safety, and Recreation Committees all have open seats at the moment. COWncil member Romines urged other COWncil members and already seated Committee members to recruit from their friends and acquaintances. We urge you to apply if you have time and interest (go here) .

A very patient Sheriff’s deputy, who had sat through the entire meeting, reported on COWncilmember Gordon’s apparent request for information about an accident near her house. He was also asked about how the Tour of California impacted our Town. Apparently, everything went really smoothly with no major issues.

The meeting closed with COWncil member Romines mentioning under COWncil communications, an upcoming Cool Cities green building ordinance workshop. Also, on April 17th there will be another SOD Blitz like the one which we wrote about last year (see here).

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